Category Archives: Mastodon

Fossil Friday – mastodon caudal vertebra

As promised, as we prepare for the Valley of the Mastodons workshop and exhibit, I’m going to be talking even more than usual about mastodons. We have hundreds of mastodon bones in the WSC collections, and we have to examine them all over the next month to decide what’s going on exhibit (which will be most of them). Continue reading

Fossil Friday – mastodon molar

This August we’re opening a major new exhibit and hosting an associated workshop at Western Science Center, Valley of the Mastodons. In the lead-up to the exhibit/workshop, I’m going to be talking about mastodons even more than usual. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – new mastodon CT scans

Almost two years ago we took Max’s lower jaw to California Imaging and Diagnostics for a CT scan. We got some fascinating data that raised a lot of new questions, so to help answer them we recently took a second mastodon to CID for scanning. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – proboscidean ulna

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Over the last few weeks we’ve started pulling a lot of mastodon material from the collections (more on that in a future post). Some of the bones that are turning up are pretty interesting. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – partial mastodon skeleton

California mastodons have been in the news lately, so I decided to go with one of our Diamond Valley Lake mastodons for Fossil Friday this week. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – possible mastodon bones

A common theme on this blog is that we can often get a lot of information from very incomplete material. Even so, as a general rule, the more remains we have from a given fossil organism, the more we can say about it. But sometimes we can have multiple bones, and even something as basic as a species identification can be elusive. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – worn mastodon tooth


Volunteer Joe Reavis been hard at work on a collection of fossils from a mitigation project in Murrieta that includes a lot of mastodon material. As far as we can tell so far, all of the mastodon material is consistent with one individual, although we did confirm yesterday that there is non-mastodon material in the same collection. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – mastodon molar

For the last few weeks, volunteer Joe Reavis has been diligently reconstructing a box of tooth fragments that came to the museum several years ago via a mitigation project in Murrieta, California. It quickly became apparent that the fragments were mastodon, and it seems they all come from a single tooth. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – mastodon skull fragment

After the turmoil of end-of-year administrative duties, I’m now starting to turn my attention back to the Mastodons of Unusual Size Project.The subject of these week’s Fossil Friday is a skull fragment that is being added to our dataset. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – Proboscidean tusk

While the Diamond Valley Lake Project lasted for several years, it was still essentially a salvage operation. As a result, many of the larger specimens have only been partially prepared. Our staff and volunteers are gradually working through the backlog. Continue reading